One of Great Britain’s most successful athletes and Champions speaker, Sir Chris Hoy, has come out in support of British Cycling amidst the recent allegations of bullying in the sport. Several former team GB cyclists have come forward in recent weeks, saying they were victims of verbal assaults by coaches and there was an attitude of ‘medal at all costs.’
However, Sir Chris Hoy, who won six Olympic gold medals, including two at London 2012 has come out in defence of British Cycling saying that the claims do not represent his experiences within the sport. He said: “Every one of the riders has the right for their grievances to be heard. It feels terrible to think that anyone has ever experienced bullying or discrimination during their time with British Cycling. “As an elite athlete, I trained to win. Training was at times brutal – it has to be when you want to represent your country and to be the world’s best. I believe all of this contributed to help bring out the best in me when it counted. I would not have achieved what I did without them and will be forever grateful for what they did.”
British Cycling has been at an all-time high in recent years, winning 42 Olympic medals since 2004 with 24 of them being golds. The organisation has denied the claims but people director Michael Chivers said they would never sacrifice medals for athlete welfare as this is something that makes Britain proud.
Former Team GB rider Jess Varnish has admitted she is considering taking legal action against British Cycling after former technical director Shane Sutton was found to have used sexist language against her. She said “I feel vindicated in a way that the truth is coming out but you obviously can’t turn back the clock “All I want is the truth to be out there because it’s the truth and that’s what people should know. I’ve been pulled from pillar to post. Just to get this stage and see that it’s a cover-up is huge.”
An independent investigation is underway with Baroness Tanni-Grey Thompson authoring a report into the matter.
Sir Chris Hoy has a whole host of fascinating anecdotal tales which he can share with audiences in his capacity as an after-dinner speaker. If you would like to book him for an event or conference, get in touch with our expert team at Olympic Speakers agency. Simply complete the online booking form or call us on +44 1509 85 29 27.